Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 26: Leaders Who Guide Others to Happiness [26.11]

26.11 Leadership Positions in the Soka Gakkai Are Positions of Responsibility

President Ikeda expresses his appreciation to members who made the journey to attend a Soka Gakkai Headquarters leaders meeting in spite of difficult travel conditions caused by record snowfalls.

From the end of last year [2005], many areas around Japan, particularly Hokkaido, Tohoku, Shin’etsu, Hokuriku, and Chugoku, have experienced record snowfalls. To all our members battling heavy snows in places such as Akita, Niigata, and Fukui prefectures, please know that my prayers and thoughts are with you. My deepest appreciation also to everyone who has traveled here despite many snow-related delays and inconveniences. I know that it has taken our Akita Prefecture women’s division leader, who runs a bakery, two whole days to get here. I have heard of many other similar cases.

Twenty-four hours a day, I receive an unending stream of reports on matters, big and small, concerning our members. If there has been a traffic accident, I know where it’s happened. I know who’s in hospital at the present moment and what condition they are in. Reports pour in from morning until night. Many times, a report has prompted me to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to chant.

Leadership positions in the Soka Gakkai have nothing to do with status or rank like those found in society. Genuine Soka Gakkai leaders are those who fulfill every task before them with a solemn sense of responsibility, working single-mindedly for the welfare of the members and for kosen-rufu. This is something that must never, ever be forgotten.


Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Concerned about my life in the mountains, you had your messenger make his way through the snow to call on me. Your sincerity has no doubt been recognized by the Lotus Sutra and the ten demon daughters”1 (WND-1, 891). When I heard about the damage caused by the heavy snowfalls, I immediately thought of this passage.

Making one’s way through the snow for the sake of the Mystic Law—taken in the broadest sense in terms of our activities for kosen-rufu today, this corresponds to our earnest efforts to offer guidance and encouragement, to share the teachings of Buddhism with others, and to be diligent in organizational communications and reporting.

The Daishonin highly praises such dedication, telling the letter’s recipient that he appreciates his sincerity and pure intent. In the same way, the Daishonin is surely applauding all of you most heartily for your devoted efforts. Your benefit is beyond measure.

Naturally, I don’t want any of you to overexert yourselves or put yourselves at risk. I ask our leaders not to place unreasonable demands on members, but to always give foremost priority to everyone’s health and safety.

I am praying with all my heart for the safety and well-being of everyone living in heavy snowfall areas.

From a speech at a Soka Gakkai Headquarters leaders meeting, Tokyo, January 6, 2006.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Ten demon daughters: The 10 female protective deities who appear in the “Dharani” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as the “daughters of rakshasa demons” or the “ten rakshasa daughters.” They vow to the Buddha to guard and protect the sutra’s practitioners.